Gerrinson's page

101 posts. Alias of Bruce Snow.


1 to 50 of 101 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>

As a GM, I re-skinned Rogue Trader into Firefly for a one-shot I was running for a some local gaming events/conventions. Also, I'm a GM who rolls in the open, so it's clear there is no fudging.

All 3 times I ran it, as the aggressive pirate vessel that was attacking Serenity with missiles, I rolled critical failures. Specifically, perfect 100s on percentile dice, which on the appropriate table indicates the missiles blowing up in the tubes on launch. That guaranteed enough damage to cripple the weapons systems of the ship - and in 2 of 3 cases, doing enough damage to take the ship out of combat entirely when the rest of their ammo went up, taking the ship with it.

Once, eh, it happens. But 3 times, the same game, the same exact place? Senor Murphy was having a laugh, I'm sure of it.

Two of my players got married. Shortly thereafter, they gave me one full week of notice that they were moving out of the country.

The whole campaign has now been on hiatus for 3.5 months. I'm not sure I can get it started again, TBH. *sigh*

6 people marked this as a favorite.

It is possible there are 4 dragons, a triceratops, an ogre mage, a rift drake, and Cthulhu all protecting my PC monitor right now.

Because my minis collection has outgrown the first box.

And the second box.

And the plastic storage bin that came after the boxes.

And the divided crafts box that happens to be just right-sized for minis that was added on top of the other boxes and the bin.


Right after I finally get around to painting that last load of Bones minis that I got in that totally-a-shipping-box-and-not-more-minis-overflow-storage-if-my-wife-asks box.

Oh, and the Warhammer 40K stuff in that other box over there...

Nope, nothing embarrassing here!

We'll just overlook the multiple pounds of dice. Because those are totes normal.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

At a local Magic tournament, I had an opponent call me some very unsavory names. Because every time he cheated I would call the judge and get it ruled against him. The kid accused me of being a homosexual woman by the end, yet sadly, he won (straight up by the rules) and the judge refused to throw him out for his poor sportsmanship and bad behavior.

I'm guessing the guy in the OP though his collection had all high value cards because the CCG is fun to play. Not how it works, of course.

My Magic collection, which I'll be selling off in the near-ish future, is 30K cards collected over my 20 years of play. I expect to get an average of about $0.50 per card when I'm done. That said, most of the value is going to come from the 1.5K to 2K high value cards. The remainder I will likely just donate to the local school district for the after school programs.

Know your collection, know the value, KEEP IT ON YOUR HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE IN CASE OF FIRE (seriously, had a friend lose his whole high-value collection that way with no coverage), and you won't have to throw a tantrum when you need/want to sell cards.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I guess I'm the Dirty GM. Honestly, I greatly enjoy all the ways my players devise to thwart my schemes. And on at least one occasion, I have taken several pages of notes and chucked them over my shoulder because the PCs just totally tanked hours of labor.

Not anymore though!

Mostly because the notes are now on my tablet and I will NOT toss My Precious over my shoulder.

2 people marked this as a favorite.

One of the puzzle hallways I put in one of my own games I thought would be 'most hated' and turned out to be 'most popular' with the players.

The hallway is 5ft. wide and 100 ft. long with a 15 x 15 platform at either end. The entire length of the hallway is decorated on both sides with bas-relief marble images of monkeys doing various dances.

If you just try to walk down the hall, you get teleported back to the start and take d8. If you teleport to the far end (cheater!) you get rerouted back to the start and take d10 damage.

The only way through is either A) a series of progressively harder perform (dance) rolls - DC 6 through 25, in 1 point increments for every 5 ft square of hallway or B) for the players to stand up and the dances themselves - any semi-serious attempt bypasses the roll for a given square.

My players not only got up and danced, but they had a great time doing it. At the time, we were playing in a game store, in front of the windows that opened out onto the street.

My most recent PC uses an archetype. But before that...I've never used an archetype for a PC. As a GM, absolutely, I have all sorts of NPCs with special this or special that.

Of the 5 players currently in the group for which I GM, we have a vanilla barbarian, bard, wizard, and rogue. The inquisitor is the only one that took an archetype, which is race-based and the character has a super-high flavor content in addition to being pretty crunchy.

I once had a player start out as inquisitor - 7 levels, then take 2 levels of rogue, followed by 2 levels in fighter, then he started to level in cleric.

He claimed his build was obvious once you thought about it. I still have not figured it out. Though he was exceptionally good at rolling critical successes at just the right to come out looking fantastic and showing up the rest of the party. So maybe I'm just too blind to see the awesomeness.

3 people marked this as a favorite.

The last Evil campaign I ran had the group built by a bigger, badder evil guy. The group didn't quite seem to understand that evil needs to be proactive - you don't get quests coming and falling in your lap like when you're a good guy.

I tried to fix this by having them run into another villain, an antipaladin 'bounty hunter' with a plan to release evil monsters - like a pyrohydra - so he could then 'save the day' by killing them. He wanted to gain power and influence with the local government by being a hero. And planning up front what he was going to fight allowed him to be 100% prepared when going into battle.

The 'evil' PCs killed him, found his 'how-to' book...and the turned it into the local authorities with is body.

In fact, the entire 'evil' group wound up being renowned in the region for their acts of heroism and shoring up the local economy by restoring a mine to service. Oh, then they went out of their way to help a LG dragon fight off a LE dragon.

The whole time, I kept waiting for it to turn out they were playing at heroes to then take over, but nope. They were just heroing to avoid being found as criminals. Of course, they studiously avoided committing crimes so they weren't criminals here at all.

Worst at being evil PCs in history.

My personal favorite would be Connor O'Hara, Barbarian/Warmage back in D&D 3.5.

The favorite PC of that I created, if chosen by other players, would be The Ron. A D&D 3.5 changeling Fighter who spoke about himself in the 3rd person and always as 'The Ron' i.e. The Ron really likes this ale. Had to roll up a character because I left my new PC at home by accident, got The Ron, who became the staple 'go to' for anyone's forgotten character or filling in if a PC died mid-session. Voted most favorite PC by a lot of people. Which feels weird because I spent less time building him than any other character, ever.

I'm a tad late to the party here, but I'll toss in my 2 cents.

I've had some real munchkin players - taking 3 stats to 7 in order to pump their focus. And I've simply rejected the characters, and/or provided what I think are more reasonable builds.

Step 1: Require GM approval of all characters before they come to the table. This way you avoid crap you don't approve of as a GM.

I've also had some folks who either don't know the rules, or do know the rules, and are nerfing their character. I'll review with them the problems I foresee and give advice, but if you want to intentionally nerf your character, I'll allow it.

Step 2: See step 1, it makes this all a non-issue.

As for rolling dice, I've a penchant for rolling 5 or under on d20s and 1 or 2 on a d6. Except for stats. The last game for which I rolled stats, my lowest stat - before racial mods - was a 16. All rolled in front of the rest of the group. They even made me change to someone else's dice after I started with two 18's.

I had wicked broken stats, still rolled for crap on my d20s, but the stats kept me going and when I rolled well, it was super awesome. My 'dump' stat was a CON of 16.

Now, I only do point-buy because I know how broken it can be. And there were many grumbles throughout the game about my high stats when I last rolled up a PC. I do insist that no one takes more than one 7, and if you take a 7, you cannot take any other stat lower than 10.

The latest group, I didn't have to reject any character for dump stats. The orc (not half-orc!) spent the points needed to boost CHA up to 10, and that's their worst stat. With no prodding or input from me at all.

Of course, I rolled a critical success with the current group - no munchkins, equally enjoying combat & RP, and we all have a pretty equal sense of humor. It's been probably my favorite group ever and we've been going for 2 years now.

Basically, my group is experiencing growing pains as we help teeth a new GM. She has a penchant for stating that every in game judgment call is a 'new house rule'.

She has taken over 1 story arc in my campaign that started 2 years ago. We had an established list of 7 house rules that to which everyone had to agree before the campaign started.

That list is now up to 23 house rules, at last count. O.o

At least 2 of which specifically nerf the undead minions of necromantic cleric PCs. Oddly specific, right? O.o

Mine was the only necromantic cleric PC. -.- And there it is.

Also, one of the rules only applies when it is detrimental to the party, but not in cases where it would help us. O.O


At the end of this story arc, I'm taking back over and we're going back to the original 7 rules. I did have a discussion of 'house rules should only be added after longterm in-game testing'.

From a story perspective, her work has been great. The uber-controlling ill-planned and thought out rules changes, some of which alter RAW character abilities to make them near impossible to use, not so much.

The last discussion was very heated, and feelings were hurt. On the bright side, we may have passed the 'GM vs. Players' hump and are moving towards 'GM & Players' mindset.

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I've been reading through the weird campaign ideas you'd like to play thread, and figured we should also see what people have successfully pulled off.

I'll offer a couple of my own to start:

The BBEG had actually split the world into 4 parts, based on the elements - air, earth, fire, and water. There were prophecies of the chosen ones who will one day have the chance to defeat him. The characters (gestalt PCs) all passed through a magical portal, after which they met each other for the first time. Before the game started, I sent each a player a description of the game world for building their character. I sent each of them a totally different description, randomly assigning each one to one of 4 elemental 'pieces' of the original world. The adventure spanned all 4 elemental realms, the Elysian Fields (Halfling Heaven, as it were), a 5th 'hidden' shard that was the last piece of the original world, and several other planes. It was pretty awesome. The air shard was my favorite and was based on The Integral Trees by Larry Niven. On the water shard, all of the land-based species were forced to live on top of the ice in arctic areas. By the end of the campaign, the party were flying on a planes-hopping mithral-hulled airship and wound up befriending Vinnie, the 30-headed tarrasque. Yes, that involved multiple Nat 20 rolls on the part of the party.

The second bizarre one I started, was D&D 3.5 anthropomorphic animal characters w/ BESM d20 traits. I said this was bizarre from the start, right? Raised on what was, to all appearances, a medieval estate. The entire group, were raised as a family unit, despite being different animals. They were all accustomed to medieval style life, manners, etc. The game started with the death of their father, when they were first able to leave the family estate. And that is when they learned they were in a post-apocalyptic Earth. Including a cult that worshipped the ancient god, Michael Jackson. That was a hell of a campaign. Especially after they got their hands on a Doctor Who inspired time machine.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

First, I offer up the time/place/other setting info where the game will start and require that players provide a reason why their character would be there and why they would join. Up to and including emailed RP sessions prior to playing (I've never done a full game by email/or play by post). If you don't tell my why your character would be there or join the group, then you don't play. Player & character buy-in is very important.

Second, I require backstories from all characters. Offering in game rewards for best backstory works wonders. Also, there is the threat of 'no backstory means GM backstory is assigned and ONLY the GM knows what that backstory is'. So far, everyone has always turned in a backstory.

Third, I like to have their actions come back to them - in a good way or bad way, though currently mostly bad. (I am a GM, after all.) For example, the lesbian orc was 'orc-married' - the orc leading a squad of soldiers saw her and declared she was his wife. She took offense to this and decapitated him on the spot. Since then, the orc's warlord father has been sending teams of mercenaries to hunt them down. At one point, most of the party was successfully ambushed & captured. They were rescued by the 3rd level elf wizard and another party member's badger animal companion, who managed to take down a CR 5 group of mercenaries by themselves. The rest of the party watched from inside their locked cages, where they succeeded to totally fail in breaking out. And the sorcerer forgot he could cast spells from inside the cage. Since they're still free, the random group of mercs will show up now and again trying to take them in.

Fourth, slowly and over many sessions, I make sure each character gets at least one story arc tied into their backstory. The current group now has a the wizard's sister tagging along (a cohort gained via Leadership), occasionally the orcs lesbian girlfriend and/or her sisters join up. The halfing rogue's ex-bestfriend turned nemesis has been committing crimes in the PC's name for months now. Only because during the story session, the PC betrayed his ex-friend. Even the orphan who barely knew his parents and grew up on the streets of Absolom is getting his own story - where he finds out he is the last born son of a fallen noble line, and thus technically a prince.

Fifth, I've taken to adding sweeping backdrops that the party can't really change or control (well, maybe with excessive effort) but which have ramifications for them. The current campaign features a war in which Qadira has sacked Oppara and is quickly conquering a large swath of Taldor. The group is currently lugging a pile of loot along the western edge of the war zone dealing with fleeing refugees, loot-hungry deserters, etc.

Sixth, listen to the players. Find out what each character would like to do or accomplish, and offer up chances for it. Or offer up something you think they would like - like a secret arcane library hidden in the middle of the desert that requires special information to enter and offers eldritch rewards for people who keep bringing back magical artifacts and unique items.

Another important part, which is sometimes hard to accomplish, is to make sure each session/story flows into the other. I sometimes spend weeks hammering out the transition details so they have flow. I just got an email last month from an ex-player - he's lived in 3 countries since we last played - commending me on making everything flow in a way that felt seamless to him. So, it works.

It helps a lot that gaming is also my creative writing outlet, so I can spend hours hammering away at my homebrewed stories and not feel like the time is wasted. It's not a chore, it's a blast.

I thought I had previously found an answer to this question, but I can't seem to locate it now.

Is it possible to Channel Smite on the melee touch attack as part of spell casting? e.g. Could a cleric who channels negative energy cast an Inflict spell and channel smite at the same time?

6 people marked this as a favorite.

A white linen towel.

At the end of the dungeon (5 levels later) they found a magical fountain and an engraving that stated "Only in surrender, will you go forward."

The only way to continue was to (literally) throw in the towel.

It is possible that I am a jerk.

I've seen some really good items, so far.

But I've also seen a lot of items that make me cringe because:

Poor/inconsistent grammar: It makes me cringe, but I'm a frequent reader/writer and married to a woman with an English degree, so I may be more sensitized towards this than other people. The descriptions as written would make me sad to see them in a book at my table.

Lack of proofreading: Some of the items I've seen were clearly edited in their descriptions. Which is great, you should be doing that. But after you make changes, you should read your description to be sure it still makes sense. I've a seen a few sentences that do not make sense as written, and I immediately stop considering that item. If I have to rewrite the item description for it to make sense, I'm certainly won't be allowing the item in use in one of my games.

Mary Sue items: These items are way overpowered. I realize items need to be cool and stand out from the crow, but if I look it from a GM perspective and think 'No way would I ever allow that in any of my games' then you probably went overboard trying to shoehorn extra abilities into your entry. This is probably the one that makes me saddest, as there were a number of items I would have up-voted except the designer decided to tack on just one last ability that either pushed it too far for me or just didn't make sense with the rest of the item's abilities.

That said, there is some really strong competition this year and I've seen a number of items I will probably use in future games even if they don't make the top 32.

Dotting for follow up!

Dotting for for my own follow up.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

45) Because we're in a tavern and brawling is what taverns are for.

Domains: Law, Evil, Knowledge, Trickery

Subdomains: Judgment, Tyranny, Deception, Innuendo

Given that I'm the GM 95% of the time, those seem extremely appropriate. 8^D

I generally hand wave encumbrance for my group, though I'm going to have them do a 'weight check' this week since one of the players now has somewhere in the realm of 9 melee weapons on his person (including 1 great-axe & 4 swords) so now I'm going to call it tight for a bit.

I expect they'll adjust the load across the party and we'll be good with for several more months.

As for the perception-perception-perception checks from everybody; just say "Everyone roll 1 check each for the whole graveyard" and call it done, with no re-rolls unless there is actually some truly important maguffin that none of them can find the first time through.

I'm currently running Pathfinder/D&D 3.5 space! I used Spelljammer style ships (which are of course really cool) for all Golarion-based adventuring.

I've also splashed in some of the alien races from the d20 Modern system, just for fun.

My intent was to offer them a taste of each planet/planetoid with specific targeted missions to see what caught their fancy. Right now, they're on Triaxus dealing with dragons/political intrigue/dragons/dragonkin/dragons and their main goal now is to impress some dragonkin enough that they can bond and the party can all become dragon riders. In space.

Good thing it's gestalt or the whole thing would be ridiculous. 8^P

aboniks wrote:

From the SRD, under the "Good" Alignments section.

Ethics for Adventurers wrote:
One of the many quandaries good-aligned characters face during their adventuring careers is what to do about the progeny of evil humanoids. For example, shortly into their adventures, an adventuring party encounters a group of goblins who have been raiding a village, leaving a swath of death and destruction in their wake. The PCs track them to some caves and kill them—but the dead goblins leave behind babies. What should the PCs do with those? Kill them? Leave them be? What is the best and most appropriate thing for a good character to do in this situation? Just as there are varying good alignments, there are different solutions to this problem. One good character might believe the children are not inherently evil, that their behavior is learned, and round up the young ones to take them to a higher power like a church, a monastery, or an orphanage set up to deal with the issue of raising humanoid children. Alternatively, he might decide to raise them himself! This could be viewed as the most saintly thing to do. Another character might decide not to do anything, leaving the children to the whims of nature—either the children will survive in the wild on their own, or they will not. Lastly, a good character who believes the younglings can never overcome their innate evil might kill them all outright, viewing the action as good, just, and the most merciful option.

Here's the deal: At the end of the day, it falls to the GM to make the call. As a GM, in the games I run, if a good aligned character starts smashing baby heads, while the character might see his actions as 'Good' his LG god (played by the GM) will not see it that way. So, if a paladin did this in my game, the paladin would fall. If the character disagrees, then it is time for the character to re-evaluate his god's position on murdering helpless infants and whether or not the character can work within those constraints.

The only way a paladin can 'ruin' a game is if the GM gives him carte blanche to do so. If he figures out who the villain is through proper use of detect evil, then that is a challenge for the GM to work out in the adventure. As noted in many places in this thread, non-evil opponents or remotely intelligent and properly prepared evil opponents will not be ruined in the slightest by detect evil.

And a really clever villain hires non-evil underlings to perform tasks under the guise of some other cause. In my current game, I have an evil demon trying to break the rule of the LG king and bring an entire continent into chaos. To do so, he is co-opting a bunch of CG folk who are opposed to some of the stricter laws and has organized them into a rebellion to overthrow the king.

99% of the rebels do not detect as evil because the are not. They are simply misled CG folks. And the ringleader has stayed hidden in the background for over a year now; no where near authorities of any sort.

Good luck with that there detect evil, Mr. Paladin!

Starbuck_II wrote:
Death Is NOT falling. You said the Paladin was put in jail and then executed. He never fell in your example.

Let me clarify: The player would have to provide proof to me, as GM, that killing the guy was definitively required based solely on his 'evil' ping off of detect evil. Since I don't allow my players (except in the Evil games) to run around being uber dbags to everyone around them, that isn't going to happen.

Paladin falls immediately, at the time of the murder.

Then gets arrested for murder. His defense is 'Victim was evil and I know it because I'm a paladin and can detect evil!'. Then he is asked to prove that he can detect evil, by the clever barrister prosecuting him for murder, which he no longer can because he has fallen. Sir Fights-Without-Bonus-Feats gets executed for behaving like the very thing he claimed to oppose when he was a paladin.

The next time someone else runs our game, I'm playing a paladin. My paladin would never kill on sight a human/elf/etc. with only 'detects as evil' as proof.

Instead, he would note the person(s), follow them, study them, find EVIDENCE of what their evil actions are and turn them in to the proper authority. Unless the lives of the innocent were immediately in danger, in which case, IT'S SMITIN' TIME!

See the difference in the course of action there?

And let's not forget the bonus effect of the investigation, which is potentially locating other bad guys and thus removing the entire group of them, instead of just one random dirt bag who had the bad timing to cross my path when I was detecting evil.

I've been running D&D 3.5/Pathfinder for the last decade. To mix it up, I throw in some Shadowrun, Call of Cthulhu, and I am starting a full on Dark Heresy campaign.

Yet for some reason my wife feels I need 'new' hobbies. As if I have time or energy for more? 8^P

Scavion, I gotta be honest, if you ran a paladin like that in my game you'd fall the first time you failed to provide adequate proof that the evil character deserved to die. The hustler cheating people at 3 card monte on the corner might be 'evil' but is it an evil worth killing over? I think not.

If you get hauled in to jail for murder, and your only defense is 'Detect evil was positive', well, you're probably going to the headsman. Especially if one of the bad guys lawyer type lackeys steps up and demands that you prove you're actually a paladin after the fall. No proof that you can actually cast detect evil = no defense.

Not to mention, I don't see a paladin like that being able to atone for the fall. Atonement requires that the character honestly regret their actions. Your character clearly would not.

Paladin =/= Murder-hobo of evil NPCs only.

Hama wrote:
Usually, I just improvise and build on what PCs do, writing down NPCs and statting up the important ones. It works out great.

This is pretty much my method now, too.

When I started running games I'd write up huge & convoluted plots with detailed NPCs - each fully statted up - and I would map out everything I expected to happen. Then my herd of, players, would spy somthing shiny and go completely off course.

Now, I come up with detailed history of a region and a plot hook or two to drag them into doing stuff, then I just let events swirl around them and the NPCs react to them. The only NPCs that get full stats now are the ones that I expect will wind up in combat with them (normally because the PCs have done something to draw their ire).

The rest of the adventure I just ad hoc on the fly. I don't even do dungeon maps anymore, I just draw out rooms on the mat as they go. It saves me the trouble of having to hide the 'GM map' copy from them, too. 8^P

Dotting for follow up.

Dotting for my own follow up.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
bob_the_monster wrote:
...How should he seek to assess their strong and weak points? Is there a way he can counter the creative uses of stone-shape or elemental body within the dungeon?

Answering elemental body: Strategically placed antimagic fields. If he has been watching the party and how they operate, then the lich should have a decent idea where he can place a few of them in such a way as to handily disrupt the party. Block off a tantalizing treasure room with Wall of Force, then the hero with elemental body tries to bypass using the wall, he winds up trapped in the stone and dies a few inches in.

Answering stone shape: If they're stone shaping doors into solid walls, don't forget that there is a 30% chance moving parts just don't work. The spell does specify stone or a stone object, so if you want to be a real bastard, say that they have to stone shape each individual stone block/brick in the wall or find a wall made of one solid piece of stone in order for the spell to work the way they want.

Alternatively, face them with some rooms lined with iron plates.

Or an illusionary wall placed 6 inches in front of the real wall. Let them blow a spell on stone that's not even there. Once you've messed with them a few times, they'll be more cautious about expending spells in that manner.

And the absolute WORST thing you can do, is to make a very short direct hallway to their goal. When they bypass, they find themselves just digging deeper and deeper into a pointless maze that would have been avoided had they walked 100 ft in a straight line. I've done this. I took great joy in laughing at them.

Abyssal Lord wrote:

Maybe you should've change the scenario a bit to actually include this hive queen.

I'm thinking about it. This just happened at Saturday's game and we don't play again for 2 weeks, so I've got time.

Technically, they were warning the other 'hives' so I could even make more than one hive queen.

Mwa hahahahaha!




Yeah, good idea...

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Tinalles wrote:


It's your campaign of course, but I might actually take that and riff on it. If they're expecting a hive queen -- give them one!

I'm thinking about doing just that. They've already stopped two C'thulu-esque events already (well, one actually WAS C'thulu) so there's plenty of precedent for insane horrors from beyond the walls of this plane.

2 people marked this as a favorite.

In my current game (which is completely OP gestalt Pathfinder/3.5 with sci-fi elements tossed in), the party is working on finding the masterminds behind a revolution. They blasted their way into one of the revolution strongholds that was hidden in the city sewers.

Having done so, they have discovered that several of the revolution leaders are actually demons in disguise. The demons all have special amulets that are identical.

In creating the background of the revolution and their command scheme, I was utilizing the 'cell' structure of real world terrorist groups. To spruce it up in a fantasy type setting, the group calls their individual portions 'hives', i.e. compartmentalized like a honeycomb.

The party captured a NPC that I had put in place to offer them information by way of an inspired rant by a true believer in the cause. They gagged him so they wouldn't have to listen to his exposition. So, I inserted some pamphlets detailing the revolution's cause so they could at least get some idea of what was going on.

At this point, a group of babau demons (still disguised with illusions) attacked them. When I realized the CR of the combat was in TPK territory (1 PC down, 1 hiding, 2 others at less than 1/2 HP and all NPCs still up and in good shape), I had the NPC leader order 2 of the others to 'warn the rest of the hives that we've been found.' This led to those combatants greater teleporting out, TPK averted in a believable maneuver.

The PCs are now convinced that there is a 'hive queen' running the revolution and that wearing one of the NPC amulets will plug them into the shared hive mind, so they are afraid to even put them on.

Which is how a minor word choice on my part has totally messed with the party's heads and sent them off on a wild goose chase for a non-existent demon hive queen in the city sewers while being afraid to use powerful magical amulets that could aid them in their cause.

I count this as a GMing victory. Has anyone else had fun in-game misunderstandings like this?

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Dotting for my own followup. My players will absolutely thank you for this. And by thank, I mean stab you in a dark alley and leave you to bleed to death...

You can always through some babau demons at them. Any weapon touching their skin which is covered in acidic slime takes 1d8 points of acid damage per round. It won't take long for those nets to melt into nothing. 8^)

Alright, the thread is too long for me to finish at lunch, but I see at least a few problems with the half HD pit fiend. In so much as HP should be 10D10 + 120, not +240 (CON 34 = +12 HP per hit die, not +24) and the BaB scales with HD, as to saves. There's a big chunk of the threat removed right there. As for the abilities, I'm a jerk GM, if the CL at full is 18, that is HD-2, so I'd just rule it has CL 8 and cannot cast spells higher than those available to a level 8 wizard.

Simulacrum nerfed to appropriate levels with some basic math, applying the RAW of monster scores, and a dash of common sense.


Southern Berkshire County, to be specific. I've got an open slot in my twice a month Sunday afternoon game. Possibly two, due to a potential player who is a bit wishy-washy about it.

The game borders on the side of ridiculously overpowered PCs. Pathfinder & D&D 3.5 gestalt, using Pathfinder as the base rule set with D&D 3.5 filling specific gaps. Wealth by level table is out the window! And since the game takes place on multiple planets in Golarion's solar system, there are Spelljammer style space ships as well as some highly advanced alien ships & other tech floating about if you are lucky enough to find it.

Being that forewarned is forearmed, I will say that I tend to throw out verbal & visual puns (I once even ran an entire adventure for the sole purpose of creating an in game verbal pun which took place during an in game visual pun where the entire situation was an out of game pun). So, if that's not your thing, I'm sorry.

If there's anyone in the area that is available on Sunday afternoons and would like to play, let me know.

PsychoticWarrior wrote:

OK. So how did this 'ruin' the campaign? This sounds like a freaking awesome PC-driven campaign with real repercussions for something they (and you as DM) did on a whim. This stuff fires my DMing skills up like nothing else. I'm not seeing the 'ruin' here. Did you have a huge over arching storyline on the go at the time? You said the 'Destroyer of Worlds' was thrown in on a 'whim'.

I called him 'Destroyer of Worlds' on a whim since they ignore 'subtle' hints that things are a BAD IDEA that perhaps their characters would not want to do.

And yes, I did have an overarching plot for the entire campaign. The object they wanted out of the vault was one of the 7 key pieces of that plot.

Now, the main plot I had planned the campaign around has pretty much fallen by the wayside in favor of the PCs seeking out draconic powers, metallic dragon allies, dragon-bane weapons, etc. All in the name of stopping the Destroyer of Worlds.

So, yes, this is a PC driven campaign. But, they drove the entire plot I had planned for levels 3 - 15 right off the rails. I'm trying to figure out how to bring it back, but the only way I've got at the moment involves time travel. Because I gave specific dates and time frames for when things happened at the beginning of the game. Next campaign everything in history simply happened 'Long ago'.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
PsychoticWarrior wrote:

While I can't honestly think of anything in game that a PC could do to totally screw up a campaign

Then you haven't met my herd of, players. On a whim, I tossed in a an ensorcelled red dragon that was bound inside a series of anti-magic fields by a colony of Lawful dwarfs. A dragon nicknamed 'The Destroyer of Worlds'. How do the level 4 PCs take to this?

They free the dragon so he can act as a distraction while the party raids the dwarven treasure vaults. Which resulted in the colony full of dwarves being annihilated so the party could get some loot.

The only thing to be said in their defense is that the entire party is Chaotic and they felt the dragon was 'enslaved' to power some of the dwarven forges. Nothing says quality like a dwarven weapon forged in the flaming breath of a mighty red dragon, right?

Having released the dragon, they've now spent multiple sessions dealing with angels and inevitables, neither of whom to kindly to the release of a psychotic killing machine as well as the general fallout of releasing a high level sorcerer dragon killing machine. The dragon just recently torched a continent full of elves into ash as part of his revenge kick. On the bright side, I've got a mythic level BBEG in the campaign now...

1 person marked this as a favorite.

In a D&D 3.5 game, the party is infiltrating a vault of powerful magic items in the lair of a lich. They knew all this before going in, and were prepared to face a bunch of save or die traps, because that's just how this lich rolls.

Eventually, they find a magical trap that they can't disarm, so the cleric (of an evil god) gets a great idea to use summon monster I and drop cheap cannon fodder in the middle of the trap.

The rest of the party retreats 50 ft back and around a corner.

PC (to rest of the party in a condescending tone): "I stand 31 ft from the edge of the trap because these things always have a radius of 30 feet."

PC casts summon monster I and successfully triggers the trap.

PC gets caught in the 35' radius Circle of Death trap.

PC then fails his Fort save on a natural 1.

I would second the 1 on 1 adventures by Expeditious Retreat Press. I've got the book with all of the converted PFRPG adventures and it has been a lot of fun.

Try out a couple of those and it will give you a better feel for how to create your own and/or how to adjust other adventures to suit a 1 player game.

I haven't read the whole thread yet, but I do require backstories and I tend to set some requirements. I then try to weave backstory info into the campaign, to make it more personal to the PCs.

Currently, they are being jerked around by a trickster god (the PCs have no idea) so I just retconned all of their backstories (I figure a trickster god could make a level 1 PC hallucinate anything!) They're only just now finding out at level 7, as their beloved families have tracked them down for vengeance and/or to bring them to justice.

For 1 player / 1 GM Pathfinder adventures I suggest Expeditious Retreat Press's One On One Adventures compendium. They updated a bunch of their 3.x adventurs to PFRPG rules.

It is a really good book and I've run some of them before.

I've changed by descriptions of monster abilites. DR 10/- is "Very hard to hurt" and fire resist 10 is 'strongly resistant to fire'. Fast healing is, well, er...they heal fast?

I don't have to give them the actual numbers, though. I can do math just as well as they can. If they PC rolls high enough, then they'll know that it has X or Y ability or spell-like ability.

Also, it seems the problem is with the players at the table, too. My group strives very had to not metagame. So I could announce the stat block outloud and it wouldn't really change their actions. It sounds like the OP's group is metagaming rather blatantly.

Maybe have them roll knowledge based on the monster's appearance, only to discover it is an entirely different creature that was magically disguised? For example:

Players: What do you mean the centaur leaps into the air, hovers, and breathes fire on us all? Centaurs can't fly! It wasn't in my knowledge check!

GM: Oh, right almost forgot. The red dragon drops the illusion he used to sucker you into combat. Knowledge (You're all gonna die) checks, anyone? <insert evil grin here>

Excellent post, thanks for the great tips!

I've had to GM this situation and this is how I resolved it: The tentacles sprout from any surface within the radius at the time the spell is cast. So, if the flying sorc was next to a wall, you could hit the wall with it and the tentacles would reach out and grab him.

Of course, this also semibackfired for me as they created the 'Tentacle Wagon' by casting it so only the front half was caught in the radius before pushing it through the double doors and down the hallway at the castle guards...

I'm currently running an Evil campaign. Early on, they were hired to assist an antipaladin of much higher level. The antipaladin, in addition to completing the mission, also planned to release a pyrohydra so he could then later kill it and build up a heroic reputation (long term plans, this was supposed to be a recurring villain.)

The PCs didn't like this guy much as a boss, so as the antipaladin is leaving the cave they throw 4 tanglefoot bags to entangle him in place. Pyrohydra catches up and toasts him to ash. Now the party always talks about how tanglefoot bags kill antipaladins...

Hey, I'm looking for some more players to join (and also hopefully run!) some games in the southern end of Berkshire County, MA.

I currently have slots open in my Pathfinder Evil campaign as well as my soon to begin Pathfinder in Spa-a-a-a-a-ce! campaign.

The space campaign is designed to pander to my players, so it is gestalt and includes not only Pathfinder but all D&D 3.5 as well as the Veil of Truth 3PP supplement. The space ships will mostly be Spelljammer open deck style (think Treasure Island if you're not familiar with Spelljammer.)

If anyone is in the area and interested, let me know. Or if you're looking for a player in the area to join your campaign, I'd really like to step out from behind the GM screen for a bit.

1 to 50 of 101 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>